Speyside is a walker’s paradise, with a network of pathways, many of them on abandoned railway lines with gentle gradients, criss-crossing this rich, fertile landscape of rolling hills and wooded glens.
The River Spey lies at its heart and will be our constant companion as we enjoy three easy walks that eventually lead us to the sea on the Moray coast. The October departure promises to be especially spectacular with a riotous display of autumn colours to brighten our days.
Travelling north we break ourselves in gently with a short walk through the leafy Hermitage in Perthshire before continuing to our comfortable hotel in Speyside. From here we enjoy three different walks, the first in the surrounding area as we pick up part of the Speyside Way.
Next we follow a circular route through the heart of the whisky producing area, taking in Dufftown, Aberlour and Craigellachie, followed by a walk that take us to the mouth of the river on the Moray Firth. On the way home we wind down with a gentle forest walk and admire the Queen’s View near Pitlochry.
What You’ll Love
- Gentle walks at the Hermitage and the Queen’s View
- Following the Speyside Way from Grantown to Nethybridge
- A circular walk in the whisky heartlands
- Following the river to its mouth on the Moray Firth
- A chance to spot dolphins in their natural habitat
- Services of a professional tour manager
- Comfortable coach travel throughout
- Meals – as per the itinerary
Single Supplements apply. Subject to availability.
We will depart from our designated departure points and head up the A9, breaking our journey with a gentle walk beside the River Braan at the Hermitage, near Dunkeld. The river tumbles through a deep gorge, lined on either side with stately conifers.
We continue north to Grantown-on-Spey and our comfortable accommodation at the Craiglynne Hotel. If you wish to order a packed lunch from the hotel for the following day, please do so this evening and each subsequent evening as required.
After our full Scottish breakfast we depart on our first walk which takes us along part of the Speyside Way from our base in Grantown to Nethy Bridge, a distance of six miles, mostly on the trackbed of the former Strathspey Railway, with some forest walks. We will return by coach to our hotel.
After breakfast today we follow an offshoot of the Speyside Way, a circular route which begins in Dufftown, synonymous with whisky distilling – it used to be said that ‘Rome was built on seven hills; Dufftown was built on seven stills’.
The walk again follows the trackbed of the old Strathspey railway to Craigellachie, where we will make a slight detour to admire Thomas Telford’s impressive cast iron bridge of 1814, which appears to go straight into the rock face on the other side of the River Spey but in fact takes a sharp right turn which made it unsuitable for modern traffic. From here we continue along the railway trackbed to Aberlour and then walk through forest and moorland back to Dufftown, returning by coach to our hotel.
The total length of the walk is 12.5 miles but for those who wish to walk halfway a transfer will be provided back to the hotel from Aberlour.
Re-joining the Speyside Way today, our walk of five miles takes us from Fochabers to Spey Bay, using forest roads and tracks alongside the ever-widening River Spey before it finally runs in to the sea on the shores of the Moray Firth.
In the afternoon we will visit the Scottish Dolphin Centre here in Spey Bay, where if conditions are favourable it is possible to observe the dolphins as they come to within a few metres of the shore.
We return to our hotel later in the afternoon.
After breakfast we check out of the hotel and begin our homeward journey, which we will break with a gentle ‘warm down’ walk of around two miles along the Allean Forestry Trail, which has some fine views over Loch Tummel before enjoying the famous Queen’s View itself.
We return to our original pick-up points in the evening.